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$36M Verdict for Young Pedestrian Shows Need for Back-To-School Safety

This month we’ve been covering pedestrian safety in light of a statewide campaign to reduce pedestrian deaths. California Pedestrian Safety Month coincides with back-to-school season, which makes it a perfect time to brush up on safe walking habits for kids.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, one-fifth of children between the ages of five and nine who are killed in traffic are pedestrians. As a recent case out of San Bernadino demonstrates, children walking to and from school are highly vulnerable and need to be protected. Read on to learn more.

Recent Case: $36 Million for an Injured Child

Our firm recently represented a six-year-old girl who was struck by a car while crossing the street at her school bus stop. She was in a coma for three months, sustained a traumatic brain injury and had fractures to her neck, arm, leg, and pelvis.

Our firm secured $36 million for the girl and her family when a jury found that the school bus company had failed to report that the bus stop was dangerous due to parents and children crossing a busy street in the middle of the block on a daily basis. However, no amount of money can undo what happened or take away their pain.

In addition to holding negligent parties accountable in court, it is critical to educate the community about safe driving and walking practices to help prevent accidents like this whenever possible.

How Kids Can Stay Safe on the Way to School

The National Transportation Safety Board provides some helpful guidelines to make sure your child gets to and from school safely:

  • Children should not walk alone until they are at least ten years old.
  • Map out a safe route – get more information here – and practice it with your child several times.
  • Try to select a route with sidewalks and clearly-marked crossings, and make sure your child can identify them.
  • Avoid busy, high-traffic roads whenever possible.
  • Remind children to look Left-Right-Left before and during the crossing.
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